NSW government announces Opal fare increase with cheaper Friday fares

Posted: 20 September 2023 | | No comments yet

The NSW government’s annual Opal fare adjustments, commencing in October 2023, will introduce a 3.7% increase, with the added benefit of discounted Friday fares.

NSW government announces Opal fare increase with cheaper Friday fares

Credit: Transport for New South Wales

In an effort to ensure sustainable public transportation services and alleviate the financial strain on commuters, the New South Wales (NSW) government has announced that Opal fares will undergo an annual price rise, starting from 16 October 2023. However, this increase has been strategically planned to be less than the rate of inflation, with additional perks such as substantial discounts on Fridays.

Fares across the Opal network will see an average increase of 3.7%, equating to less than $1 extra per week for the average commuter. According to the NSW government, this measured increase has been designed to minimise the impact on passengers’ wallets and it has been delayed to ensure they remain below the latest annual Sydney consumer price index movement of 7% in the June 2023 quarter.

Furthermore, one of the most significant changes that has been introduced is the extension of cheaper weekend fares to include Fridays. This means that travellers can enjoy a 30% fare discount on Metro, train, bus and light rail services when journeying on Fridays. The all-day travel cap for these trips will be capped at $8.90, while Child/Youth and Concession passengers will have a reduced fare cap of $4.45 for all-day Opal travel.

The weekly travel cap, however, remains unchanged at $50 for adults and $25 for concession cardholders and children. Seniors and pensioners will continue to enjoy their daily cap of $2.50.

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The decision to discontinue half-price trips after eight journeys is based on Opal data, which indicates that nearly 90% of passengers do not reach this cap. With more people adopting flexible work arrangements and commuting fewer days a week, the introduction of cheaper Friday fares is expected to benefit a larger number of commuters.

Transport Minister Jo Haylen said: “Every weekend will soon be a long weekend when it comes to Opal fares, as we make Friday travel cheaper for everyone. Trimming the cost of visiting the city, be it for work, shopping, or enjoying a day and night out on the town.

“We know people are having trouble paying the bills. That’s why we’ve made sure that the average fare increase will see an average difference of just $1 to a passenger’s weekly fare.”

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